With the Indian CS:GO community growing at a rapid pace and to add to that the influx of international organisations such as ESEA to the country, the signs are encouraging for e-sports in the coming few years.

Leading the brigade of professional CS players in the country is Team Brutality’s Ankit ‘V3nom’ Panth, who has definitely raised some eyebrows, thanks to his performances in ESEA.

We sat down with CS 1.6 and GO stalwart, to understand the aesthetics of the CS:GO scene in India.

HOW DID YOU LIKE CSGO, WHEN YOU INITIALLY PLAYED IT?

I’ll be honest here. The entire team had purchased CSGO from Flipkart the day it was available for pre order. The game was delivered in a few days; we installed it, did one mission and deleted it after 20 minutes without even completing the mission because we didn’t like it that much due to the heavy graphics and the recoil pattern. Who would have thought that we’ll end up playing the same game professionally.

BRUTALITY HAS BEEN IN TOP FORM IN ESEA AND HAS BEEN BY FAR THE TOP INDIAN TEAM ONLINE. WHAT ARE THE REASONS THAT CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO YOUR RECENT SUCCESS?

Well, thank you if we have done justice to coming close to being called as the top team online in India. But, we still have a long way to go we feel since we’ve just begun to do the damage and I’m sure soon we will be worthy of that title/compliment you gave us!

We need to work harder, which we will and in 2015 you will see what Brutality’s top form looks like. We have so far lost only the Games Arena Bengaluru tournament, which was our debut event and after that there haven’t been any major LAN events happening in India so we can’t really say we’re the top and the best yet.

As far as the reasons go, we have worked really hard as individuals as well as a team together. When I say team it doesn’t mean the playing 5, but also our super awesome back-end team, who keeps helping us every time without even asking and keeps us motivated throughout.

They are the real heroes, who have worked day & night behind the scenes and made Brutality the brand it is today. So I would like to thank these guys first starting from Mr. Shahnawaz Sayyed our Content/PR guy, Mr. Apurva More along with Mr. Anish Nemlekar, who make us look good and are from our creative team & last but not the least Mr. Sat Mayekar, who handles our marketing.

After them one of the main reasons would be the chemistry & friendship that we share between us ‘The 4 A’s’ as they call us, to an extent that has really helped us get to the spot where we are today. The experience, which RiX and astaRRRRR brought in with them helped us a lot to improve much faster.

IN CS 1.6, INDIAN TEAMS WOULDN’T EVEN COME CLOSE TO COUNTRIES SUCH AS CHINA & SOUTH KOREA, WHY DO YOU THINK WE HAVE BEEN GETTING FAR BETTER RESULTS IN CSGO?

I agree but it wasn’t our fault back then. We had talent during that time as well but in CS 1.6 there was no medium to play against these teams. You couldn’t play with them due to high ping issues whereas in CS GO 100-120 ping is also playable and that’s the reason you are seeing the improvement.

First it was match making which routed you to Singapore servers, where you could play against some of the best players from Singapore, Vietnam, China, Indonesia etc.

Now with the launch of ESEA it’s even better. We are getting the opportunity to play against some of the best teams of South East Asia because of their Asia Pacific League. So from here on you will only see improvement in the Indian players and teams because this was the stable opportunity that we needed from a long time.

HOW DIFFERENT IS IT PLAYING AGAINST ASIAN TEAMS AS COMPARED TO INDIAN TEAMS?

There is a huge difference according to me. You cannot do your random strats against these Asian teams and see if it works. You have to be well prepared in terms of your strategies & aim, because most of the time they are ready with the anti-strategies of whatever you throw at them.

I wouldn’t refrain from saying that it’s their exposure and adaptation to different game-plays they experience playing with the European teams as practice/tournament that gave them the edge.

Whereas when you are playing against Indian teams you don’t feel that pressure and most of the time you know your opponents and read them perfectly. You can do your random stuff here and try different things, because here the success rate would be much higher as compared to the Asian and European Teams.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE INDIAN CSGO COMMUNITY?

Its growing and will keep growing I’m sure. The support of the fans is increasing and people are being more serious about their favourite teams.

Let me talk about my team here. Whenever we lose or win an event there are fans, who inbox us on our page to tell us what we did wrong and how should we improve the areas where we need to work and where exactly were the opponents targeting us etc.

That feeling when you know that your fans are with you and the community is supporting you no matter what is priceless.

HOW DIFFICULT WAS THE TRANSITION FROM CS 1.6 TO CS:GO?

I wouldn’t say it was difficult but it was quite a ride. We were one of the last professional teams to switch I guess and teams ahead of us had already started playing since the beginning.

We had to face a lot of issues in terms of understanding the recoil pattern, getting use to the maps, smokes & flashes etc. We were a little sceptical at the beginning but then as they say nothing is impossible and hard work pays off, that’s what we kept in mind and hopped into the scene and here we are being one of the best teams in the country.

SOME OF YOUR TEAMMATES HAVE PLAYED TOURNAMENTS ABROAD; DID YOU GET TO LEARN CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE GAME THAT THEY LEARNT?

Yes of course as I mentioned earlier their experience helped us a lot and improved us much faster. They gave us various insights of the game and shared their experience of playing against one of the best teams in the world NIP.

They knew where we lacked and told us the areas which we need to work on as soon as possible. They taught us the basics first and told us how different this game was from CS 1.6. We never really paid attention to smokes, flashes, map control etc, but in this game these things are very important.

You cannot have any lose ends for your enemies.

WHAT ARE THE UPCOMING TOURNAMENTS FOR BRUTALITY?

There is EDGE 2015 on LAN in April in Kolkata, then there is IndiGO Online in March along with Digital Wars Online.

There are also rumours of one major LAN event happening in May, ESL-One qualifiers in June-July and ESWC in September.

HAS IT BEEN DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO MAINTAIN COUNTER STRIKE AS A CAREER?

I wouldn’t say so. I keep doing my own things on the other side so it hasn’t really affected me in that manner. And as I have personally always suggested my fellow serious gamers; if you really maintain the balance between priorities and passion, trust me they will eventually blend in and you wouldn’t have to struggle with either of them.

It has worked for me and I’m sure someone reading this out there, will help them too.

V3n0m during his Counter Strike 1.6 game at Mumbai Electronic Sports Championship

With the Indian CS:GO community growing at a rapid pace and to add to that the influx of international organisations such as ESEA to the country, the signs are encouraging for e-sports in the coming few years.

Leading the brigade of professional CS players in the country is Team Brutality’s Ankit ‘V3nom’ Panth, who has definitely raised some eyebrows, thanks to his performances in ESEA.

We sat down with CS 1.6 and GO stalwart, to understand the aesthetics of the CS:GO scene in India.

HOW DID YOU LIKE CSGO, WHEN YOU INITIALLY PLAYED IT?

I’ll be honest here. The entire team had purchased CSGO from Flipkart the day it was available for pre order. The game was delivered in a few days; we installed it, did one mission and deleted it after 20 minutes without even completing the mission because we didn’t like it that much due to the heavy graphics and the recoil pattern. Who would have thought that we’ll end up playing the same game professionally.

BRUTALITY HAS BEEN IN TOP FORM IN ESEA AND HAS BEEN BY FAR THE TOP INDIAN TEAM ONLINE. WHAT ARE THE REASONS THAT CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO YOUR RECENT SUCCESS?

Well, thank you if we have done justice to coming close to being called as the top team online in India. But, we still have a long way to go we feel since we’ve just begun to do the damage and I’m sure soon we will be worthy of that title/compliment you gave us!

We need to work harder, which we will and in 2015 you will see what Brutality’s top form looks like. We have so far lost only the Games Arena Bengaluru tournament, which was our debut event and after that there haven’t been any major LAN events happening in India so we can’t really say we’re the top and the best yet.

As far as the reasons go, we have worked really hard as individuals as well as a team together. When I say team it doesn’t mean the playing 5, but also our super awesome back-end team, who keeps helping us every time without even asking and keeps us motivated throughout.

They are the real heroes, who have worked day & night behind the scenes and made Brutality the brand it is today. So I would like to thank these guys first starting from Mr. Shahnawaz Sayyed our Content/PR guy, Mr. Apurva More along with Mr. Anish Nemlekar, who make us look good and are from our creative team & last but not the least Mr. Sat Mayekar, who handles our marketing.

After them one of the main reasons would be the chemistry & friendship that we share between us ‘The 4 A’s’ as they call us, to an extent that has really helped us get to the spot where we are today. The experience, which RiX and astaRRRRR brought in with them helped us a lot to improve much faster.

IN CS 1.6, INDIAN TEAMS WOULDN’T EVEN COME CLOSE TO COUNTRIES SUCH AS CHINA & SOUTH KOREA, WHY DO YOU THINK WE HAVE BEEN GETTING FAR BETTER RESULTS IN CSGO?

I agree but it wasn’t our fault back then. We had talent during that time as well but in CS 1.6 there was no medium to play against these teams. You couldn’t play with them due to high ping issues whereas in CS GO 100-120 ping is also playable and that’s the reason you are seeing the improvement.

First it was match making which routed you to Singapore servers, where you could play against some of the best players from Singapore, Vietnam, China, Indonesia etc.

Now with the launch of ESEA it’s even better. We are getting the opportunity to play against some of the best teams of South East Asia because of their Asia Pacific League. So from here on you will only see improvement in the Indian players and teams because this was the stable opportunity that we needed from a long time.

HOW DIFFERENT IS IT PLAYING AGAINST ASIAN TEAMS AS COMPARED TO INDIAN TEAMS?

There is a huge difference according to me. You cannot do your random strats against these Asian teams and see if it works. You have to be well prepared in terms of your strategies & aim, because most of the time they are ready with the anti-strategies of whatever you throw at them.

I wouldn’t refrain from saying that it’s their exposure and adaptation to different game-plays they experience playing with the European teams as practice/tournament that gave them the edge.

Whereas when you are playing against Indian teams you don’t feel that pressure and most of the time you know your opponents and read them perfectly. You can do your random stuff here and try different things, because here the success rate would be much higher as compared to the Asian and European Teams.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE INDIAN CSGO COMMUNITY?

Its growing and will keep growing I’m sure. The support of the fans is increasing and people are being more serious about their favourite teams.

Let me talk about my team here. Whenever we lose or win an event there are fans, who inbox us on our page to tell us what we did wrong and how should we improve the areas where we need to work and where exactly were the opponents targeting us etc.

That feeling when you know that your fans are with you and the community is supporting you no matter what is priceless.

HOW DIFFICULT WAS THE TRANSITION FROM CS 1.6 TO CS:GO?

I wouldn’t say it was difficult but it was quite a ride. We were one of the last professional teams to switch I guess and teams ahead of us had already started playing since the beginning.

We had to face a lot of issues in terms of understanding the recoil pattern, getting use to the maps, smokes & flashes etc. We were a little sceptical at the beginning but then as they say nothing is impossible and hard work pays off, that’s what we kept in mind and hopped into the scene and here we are being one of the best teams in the country.

SOME OF YOUR TEAMMATES HAVE PLAYED TOURNAMENTS ABROAD; DID YOU GET TO LEARN CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE GAME THAT THEY LEARNT?

Yes of course as I mentioned earlier their experience helped us a lot and improved us much faster. They gave us various insights of the game and shared their experience of playing against one of the best teams in the world NIP.

They knew where we lacked and told us the areas which we need to work on as soon as possible. They taught us the basics first and told us how different this game was from CS 1.6. We never really paid attention to smokes, flashes, map control etc, but in this game these things are very important.

You cannot have any lose ends for your enemies.

WHAT ARE THE UPCOMING TOURNAMENTS FOR BRUTALITY?

There is EDGE 2015 on LAN in April in Kolkata, then there is IndiGO Online in March along with Digital Wars Online.

There are also rumours of one major LAN event happening in May, ESL-One qualifiers in June-July and ESWC in September.

HAS IT BEEN DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO MAINTAIN COUNTER STRIKE AS A CAREER?

I wouldn’t say so. I keep doing my own things on the other side so it hasn’t really affected me in that manner. And as I have personally always suggested my fellow serious gamers; if you really maintain the balance between priorities and passion, trust me they will eventually blend in and you wouldn’t have to struggle with either of them.

It has worked for me and I’m sure someone reading this out there, will help them too.

383

WITHOUT DELVING INTO THE SALARY, IS THE MONEY EARNED FROM CS ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN YOURSELF?

Not at all. The money earned from CS as of now for me can never be enough because there is no fixed amount or tournament schedule which we follow every year. But it will happen this year, I am guessing because 2015 looks a promising year for CSGO.

WHICH IS THE BEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER?

It will always be the Gameeks 1.0 at the Chitkara University in Jalandhar where we defeated A+e.gaming and won the event.

This was the event that got us recognition and some serious fan following. We were brutals that night in our gameplay and our approach, maybe this has struck the fire and has been burning since then.

WHO DO YOU THINK WILL WIN ESL KATOWICE?

According to me, I will follow my heart and it says go with the Ninjas (NiP) or Virtus.pro. So I am supporting them both.

WHERE DO YOU SEE E-SPORTS & CSGO IN INDIA IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?

A very good question and a very open ended one so I’d like to answer this with a thought. ‘The future is an opportunity’ – J.F.Ware. CSGO revolution has just begun and as we all have seen it has taken the gaming world with a storm. Out of nowhere we are one of the largest communities of fans and followers any game has ever seen. The question that remains in front of us is, what do we do with it and from here?

“India has one of the most active Counter Strike communities in the world”

India for the very first time has been actively involved in taking CSGO to a whole new EPIC level.

I truly hope that sponsors/organisers/companies do take keen interest in bringing up some massive events and tournaments for the gamers because India is a huge fan base and let’s not forget we are passionate in whatever we do.

So am not seeing the CSGO craze die anytime sooner, but only elevating to a whole new level in the coming times. I just pray the resources are available when we really need them in time to promote this beautiful game that we have been so attached to. 5 years is a long time, I know and feel our fellow gamers are crazy enough to get to work this instant and give back to the CSGO community every way possible.

On that Brutal note, I’d like to thank everyone that have and haven’t supported us, we will do everything we can in our capacity to create awareness and do as much we can for CSGO!! Keep the love and support flowing. Thanks!!

ANY LAST SHOUT OUTS BEFORE WE END THIS?

Yes, I would like to thank all our sponsors Gunnar Optiks, Antec & Zotac for going out of the way and supporting us. Last but not the least our magnificent 5,496 BRUTALS on facebook who have always been there with us no matter what. Keep supporting & stay BRUTAL!